Australian tech entrepreueur, Craig White claims to be creator of digital currency, bitcoin

Australian tech entrepreneur Craig Wright yesterday claimed to be the creator of the controversial digital currency bitcoin, but experts remain divided over whether he really was the elusive person who had gone by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto until now.

The crypto-currency which launched in 2009, had since emerged as the world's most commonly used virtual currency, attracting the interest of banks, speculators, criminals and regulators.

The currency worth $7 billion at current levels, fell over 3 per cent yesterday - a normal intra-day move for the volatile currency - after the news, to less than $440 from around $455, before staging a slight recovery.

According to some online commentators Wright could help resolve a feud among the currency's software developers that clouded its future.

However, Wright made no reference to it in a BBC interview, identifying himself as Nakamoto.

''I was the main part of it, other people helped me,'' Wright, who now lives in London, told the BBC. ''Some people will believe, some people won't, and to tell you the truth, I don't really care,'' he said.

But the speculation over the identity is not likely to be over yet, commentators say.

Though Wright gave a technical demonstration involving Nakamoto's secret bitcoin keys, the  public documentation, which he posted online yesterday failed to impress many and left the question of Nakamoto's true identity far from settled.

''There's no way you can conclusively prove that you are the creator of bitcoin,'' said Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center, a Washington, DC-based crypto-currency think tank, who remains sceptical of Wright's claims, AP reported.

According to commentators, tracking a pseudonymous, elusive genius would be challenging under the best circumstances. But this was about a person who invented a way for people to send money around the world anonymously, without banks or national currencies, and who disappeared five years ago for unknown reasons.

However, that had not deterred people from trying, as journalists, researchers and amateur detectives had scoured Nakamoto's emails and online posts, and also the original bitcoin code, for unusual phrases, cultural references and other potential clues to their author.